Be afraid. You may get date raped.
The latest live episode of TNA Impact aired last night (July 19, 2012) on Spike TV and featured Open Fight Night, a bunch of Bound for Glory (BFG) Series matches, and the Aces and Eights running wild.
Let's skip the pleasantries and get right to reactions.
- There have been a million instances of pro wrestling companies crossing the line from a simple storyline designed to shock fans into something so ridiculously offensive, the writers who crafted it should be shit canned and the performers who went along with it publicly shamed. Last night's wrinkle in the AJ Styles-Claire Lynch storyline falls right into that category. Whether they meant to or not, they promoted date rape. Lynch, known as Crackhead Claire for her character being a rampant drug abuser and professed whore, apparently had a "night of hot passion" with Styles that resulted in her getting pregnant with their child, of which she is currently carrying. In order to prove this to be true, she revealed pictures that show her kissing on Styles with alcohol in plain sight. The problem? Styles is completely passed out, looking drugged up and 100-percent out of it. Lynch shows maybe six pictures to prove it is, in fact, Styles and a few of them show her staring seductively at the camera while pressing against Styles and kissing him. Seriously. Someone in TNA thought it would be a good idea to put this bullshit on TV. If we're to believe this as being true -- and even if it later turns out not to be, they're still promoting it as such at present time -- then what happened was Lynch, a drug addict, partied up with Styles until he was blackout drunk and then raped him, which resulted in her getting pregnant with their child. Styles himself admitted to not knowing any of this happened and was later shown staring at the pictures with a mix of shock, bewilderment, and despair, which is the right reaction -- I assume -- when one learns one has been date raped and is now the father of a child with a drug addict one was just trying to help get clean.
- Seriously, TNA, are you fucking kidding me?
- For those wondering, yes, I would have absolutely destroyed WWE for storylines like Katie Vick and Triple H slipping Stephanie McMahon a mickey before marrying her and implying he date raped her later in the night.
Thoughts on the rest of the show after the jump.
- If most reports from various "dirt sheets" are true, TNA still has yet to decide who exactly it is that will play the Aces and Eights group of characters that has been running rampant on Impact over the past few weeks. This seems like such a TNA thing to do and last night they ramped it up to the highest degree possible with the excuse that Hulk Hogan and Sting were both out of commission so there was no authority figure to do anything about them popping up and just attacking random people. They beat down Kurt Angle, which led to he and James Storm never having a match, they beat up Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, which led to non-finish in the main event. They even beat up Sam Shaw, the Gut Check contestant for the month. Angles like this are generally easy to book and can be extremely successful but when's the last time something like this went anywhere? The New World Order (NWO)? Let it go already.
- Samoa Joe should start teaching a lot of these clowns in pro wrestling how to properly sell. He had me believing he legitimately hurt his jaw or had a tooth knocked out. He didn't, of course.
- James Storm addressing Aries' title win and his ongoing beef with Roode was the right thing to do to maintain some level of interest. There's no reason to think TNA can't have their cake and eat it too here, though my confidence in their being able to pull off successful programs between these three is now at an all time low.
- I'm not sure there's a babyface on the roster as over as Jeff Hardy and it's not even really all that close, yet here he is languishing in a terrible time slot in a nothing match against Robbie E. I understand it's a round robin tournament but why not have a match like this at a house show? At least they got Robbie on the board the smartest way possible but the match was uninspired on both sides and looked sloppy.
- Speaking of which, Mr. Anderson has no business being in a match that goes longer than five minutes. That's not just because I can't stand the sight of him, but because he's simply not polished enough to go toe-to-toe with a worker like AJ Styles and it showed last night. Styles was running circles around him and they botched several spots, including the finish. Ugly all around.
- ODB and Eric Young get a star on the board. They were funny and if Young disappears for another month or two, this will go down as one of the better short segments TNA has done this year.
- How sad is it that Sean Wheelock can come over from Bellator to do some promoting for its show tonight (check out MMAmania.com for complete coverage) and completely blow away Mike Tenay and Tazz on commentary. He was a natural, juggling his duties to promote Bellator and actually stepping in to help call the action in the ring. I wouldn't mind if they brought him back and used him more often.
- The match Wheelock was calling, however, was garbage. I'm not sure I've watched a Rob Van Dam match in the past two years where I haven't wondered why he even bothers anymore.
- I like Brooke Hogan doing a phone interview where she says she doesn't want to talk. Yep.
- The story with Joseph Park continues to maintain my interest and intrigue me enough to wonder where it goes next. Simple and effective storytelling on TNA's part and that deserves mentioning, even if they completely dropped the ball promoting date rape earlier in the evening.
- Chavo Guerrero, huh? Cool.
I'm getting out of the habits of giving shows a grade because you can mostly tell what I think of a show by reading the above bullet points. This show wasn't complete garbage but that business with Claire Lynch was just so ridiculous and inappropriate and stupid and dumb and everything that's wrong with writers in pro wrestling that this show gets an F.
But that's just me. Maybe you feel differently and if you do, I encourage you to let me know in the comments section below.